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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  June 13, 2011 10:00pm-11:00pm EDT

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share one thing in common and that is, it's not about us. it's about the children and the grandchildren. we're not that far apart on all of the big issues. >> i want to thank all seven of our candidates. the union leader and saint am sell college. thank you all. anderson cooper is coming up. welcome to a special edition of "360." welcome to new hampshire where the republicans just wrapped up their presidential debate.
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seven hopefuls taking part and they're still on the stage behind me with family members about to come up on the stage with them. many of them, most notefully, tim pawlenty not to take on mitt romney and his massachusetts health care plan as he has in the last several days. president obama is taking hard hits from all of them. newt gingrich trying to get his campaign back on track. tea party influence plain to see. congresswoman michele bachmann, making news, filing papers, taking a step closer to officially declare her candidate for president. and with the economy sagging there's no reason for any of the participants here tonight to not believe that they, he or she, could become president. each other candidates on the stage has a very real chance. the debate covered a lot of ground and we're keeping all the candidates honest on the statements they made tonight. a lot to talk about with our political panel and we'll have congressman ron paul will join us and robert gibbs, former spokesman for president obama. and john king, wolf blitzer,
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david gergen and chief of staff and 2008 obama pollster, political crib on the cornell belcher. and dana lash. as i said, joining us also, congressman ron paul and obama campaign surrogate, robert good. wolf, as you watched tonight what was the key moment or key exchange or one of them that stuck out? >> i thought that tim pawlenty had a real chance to differentiate himself between the frontrunner mitt romney on the issue of health care reform. yesterday tim pawlenty took a swipe at mitt romney because mitt romney supported mandates and massachusetts when he was governor for universal health care in that state. and, yesterday, took a swipe at him and today, he had an opportunity to really go further on that and he backed off and he was very polite. a missed opportunity for him. >> i know a number of our analysts point out moments -- i
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want to play that moment for the viewers in case you missed it. watch. >> you don't want to address why you called governor romney "obama care?" into the issue was what are the similarities between the two and i cited president obama's own words that he looked to massachusetts as a blueprint or a guide when he designed obama care. >> you saider asked the question but you chose those words so my question is why would you choose those words in the comfort of a sunday show studio and your rival is standing right there. if it was obamany care on sunday why isn't it with the governor standing there? >> president obama is the person i quoted saying he looked to massachusetts for designing his program. he's the one that said it was a blueprint and he merged the two programs to using the term "obamainy care" was a reflection of the way he designed the plan. >> governor you want to respond? >> no. just to say this. my guess is the president will
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eat those words and wish he hadn't put them out there. and i can't wait to debate him and say, mr. president, if in fact you looked at what we did in massachusetts, why didn't you give me a call and ask what worked and what didn't? and i would have told you, mr. president. what you're doing will not work. >> david gergen, you selected that as a key moment that caught your attention. why? a missed opportunity for tim pawlenty? >> i was very surprised, anderson on this because tim pawlenty took a swipe at him yesterday and it seemed to be a setup for tonight. when he ducked and he gave romney an opportunity, mitt romney rose to the occasion and made a very good pivot out and helped himself. rick santorum i thought would take a swipe but he ducked. overall i think it was a very good night for mitt romney. nobody layed a on him and he had a consistent message about what
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he argued was the failure of president obama. i thought it was a good night for michele bachmann. >> and there was another key moment. newt gingrich talking about the ryan plan, something he got in -- made some missteps on early on and i'll show you that moment from earlier. >> your initial reaction to the ryan plan? radical, right wing social engineering. then you backtrack. why? >> first of all, there was a very narrow question which said -- should republicans impose an unpopular bill on the american people? i supported the ryan budget as a general proposal and i wrote a news letter supporting the ryan budget and those words were taken totally out of context. i'm happy to repeat them if you're dealing with something as big as medicare and you can't have a conversation with the country where the country thinks what you're doing is the right thank you better slow down. we all got mad at obama because he ran over us when we said don't do it. well, the republicans ought to flow the same ground rule. if you can't convince the american people it's a good
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idea, maybe it's not a good idea. >> gloria, you picked that as a key moment, why? >> you know, clearly, this was a huge controversy for newt gingrich going into this. he didn't back off of it at all, anderson. but he was a little bit more artful in stating his opposition saying -- you know what? if the american people oppose it maybe we ought to slow down. >> dana lash, you have been watching this along. what moment for you was sort of an important moment? >> i had several. i liked gingrich's answer on immigration but his specific reply about paul ryan i still disagree with him and i think it was a missed opportunity for him because he's compares apples and oranges in this case. two completely different approaches. two completely different plans. one plan actually has a constitutional basis and one plan doesn't have a constitutional basis. it was a missed opportunity for him to further illustrate that but, i think throughout the
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debate especially his answer on immigration, i think he recovered from the massive disaster his campaign had become just two weeks prior. >> let me play that. let me ask you, dana, before i play that, on gingrich's response do you think he has re-opened that by saying that republicans should go slow if the american people aren't fully behind it? do you think he's re-opened the discussion and will get himself criticized more? >> yeah. i was following along on twitter with the cnn hash tag and all the conservatives i saw, they were not happy with his answer. they understood where he was coming from and i think gingrich believes people misunderstand him. but from everything i saw, he kind of re-opened a can of worms because people still disagreed with what he was saying. even though they understood it they disagreed with him. >> john, do you agree with that? >> i agree with the analysis. the conservatives won't like it. the speaker says if you criticize president obama for
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making such dramatic changes to the health care, we as republicans can't change medicare so quickly. however, this is the holy grail for the house republicans right now and for conservatives across the country. in part, many think it's the right thing to do but also because they know they have a democratic president. they have a democratic senate. if they start blinking and saying maybe we should slow down they lose their leverage negotiations. so there's the policy and the leverage and with that conservatives will be unhappy. with the speaker making the political argument globally. but paul ryan is not the president of the united states. it would be good if it was the president of the united states. in the negotiations it could undermine the house republican argument a little bit. >> andy, as you watched tonight i'll ask for your key exchange. did newt gingrich do what he needed to do? there was so much talk about some 16 members of his staff up and quit last week. he was on vacation and a lot of people thought his campaign is effectively over. did he make enough of an impression tonight to breathe
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new life into his campaign? >> first of all, i thought it was a very adult debate. the issues were good. i don't think any candidate did a lousy job. i think they all did a good job and newt gingrich exceeded my expectations. he a lot of short and specific answers. and he has a tendency to talk too much. he opened right up by saying, 14 million jobs are lost. people are out of jobs. and we need a new president. that was the most succinct opening statement i thought he did a good job. i thought he was very clear on his position on immigration and, also, even on i'm going to say "the ryan plan." i saw newt gingrich did exceed my expectations. that doesn't mean i think his campaign is being well-run but i think tonight he did a good job. >> is there a moment that you would pick that we should show our viewers in your opinion? >> well, in terms of the overall debate i thought michele bachmann was introduced to the country for the first time and
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she did a really credible job. she was a they're cheerleader but quite substantive. i thought mitt romney looked very presidential like. i like watching him glance at ron paul when ron gave some answers. i thought all the candidates really auditioned well tonight. tim pawlenty was auditioning very well as an appropriate understudy. we've got a lot more to learn about him but i think he performed very well tonight. i can't think of anyone who didn't do a good job. >> cornell belcher, the candidate you support, president obama, the man you did polling for in 2008, and i believe you'll be working for again in this race, for you, what stuck out for you tonight? >> i really want to pull back the covers and shine a light for the american viewer on the inside thinking of campaigns. i think pawlenty thing was a big deal because of this. as much as we don't like -- we say we don't like negative
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campaigns the truth of the matter is if someone occupies the space that you want to occupy and they're ahead of you, i'm sorry, you got to make that person -- you got to cut that person and make them bleed. do you take a hatchet to him the first night? no. but you have to make them bleed because you'll never get ahead unless you cut them and make them bleed. pawlenty was served the opportunity to make them bleed and he looked pumps. he could not back up what he said aside when he was on the stage with romney. he looked tentative and week and i think he missed a prime opportunity to make this guy bleed. >> john, you gave him that opportunity. why do you think he passed? it was on a sunday show where he came up with that term which got an enormous amount of coverage and play. he refused to repeat it tonight. >> he refused to repeat it with governor romney a little further apart than we are right now. it was a clear calculation. he wants to make that point because he believes it's critical. he's an underdog in new
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hampshire. he's trying to introduce himself to the new hampshire voters but in this state governor romney is pretty popular. he made a calculation the first night but not now. >> we have a lot in the hour ahead. voters watching, republican voters watching how they responded to some key moments. we'll talk to robert gibbs, former white house spokesman for president obama and in a moment we'll talk to congressman ron paul and get his thoughts about he did and the others did. let us know what you think. we're on facebook and i'll be tweeting tonight. we'll talk to ron paul coming up next. the 2nd generation of intel core processors. this is visibly smart.
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what we need to do is today, the united states has the second highest corporate tax rate in the world. i'm a former federal tax lawyer. we have to bring the tax rate down substantially so we're among the lowest in the industrialized world. here's the other thing. every time the liberals get into office, they pass omnibus bill of big spending projects. >> that's congressman michele bachmann. "keeping them honest" we discovered that both democrats and republicans are centers here
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on this issue. they've both done budgeting with big omnibus bills and continuing resolutions. the last time all spending bills were done individually and on time were 1994 when democrats were in control. we'll continue to fact-check the candidates and "keeping them honest" throughout the hour and our next guest, ron paul, who joins us momentarily. he drew a major following when he ran four years ago for the gop nomination. tonight he drew a sharp contrast with the other candidates on military involvement abroad, listen. >> i served five years in the military and i've had a little experience and i spent a little time in the pakistan/afghanistan area as well as iran. but i wouldn't wait for my generals. i'm the commander-in-chief. i make the decisions and i tell the generals what to do and i'd bring them home as quickly as possible and get them out of iraq as well. and i wouldn't start a war in libya. i'd quit bombing yemen. and i'd quit bombing pakistan. i'd start taking care of people here at home because we could save hundreds of billions of
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dollars. our national security is not enhanced by our presence over there. we have no purpose there. we should learn the lessons of history and the longer we're there, the worse things are and the more danger we're in as well, because our presence there is not making friends. let me tell you. >> and congressman paul joins me. we just played the response you said about military serving overseas. that really does put you in stark contrast to many of the people on the stage tonight. >> i think so. it did four years ago. but what i sense now is -- >> you've been consistent all along. >> yeah. what i sense is there's not so much of a dramatic difference. if you listen carefully, some of them are coming our way, my way, the way i believe we should go. the difference is with the people. if you look at the polls and how many people think we should be in libya and how many people think we ought to get out of afghanistan, that's where i feel completely different. i don't obviously have agreement
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and my statement is different because i'm rather emphatic, i think the issue of war is so important on principle because it's such a deadly issue but it's also a major economic issue. i look at it carefully because all great nations usually go down when they spread themselves too far around the world. they go into an empire and then they can't afford it, no matter how well-intentioned it is. those that disagree are well-intentioned and think it's necessary but financially it's very, very risky. politically, it's easier to cut overseas spending than go to child health care. >> during the break, gloria said to you, a sense of deja vu being back on the stage and you said it feels different. how $it feel different this time? >> it felt like i was pushing much harder on the envelope before and i was so much alone and didn't know what the responses were. even the first debate we had in south carolina, the reactions are different. the last three years it's
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different. so, i think the country now the definitely moving in the direction of less gof and a different foreign policy but it's not like it's minor ren policy. i'd like to say i'm running on the position of george w. bush's foreign policy. people like that. i want it and they know it and now it's necessary. >> i want to play for our viewers a response when you were asked about the rule of faith in public life. here's your response for the viewers. >> i think faith has something to do with the character of the people represent -- and us, and laws should have a moral fiber to it and our leaders should. we shouldn't expect us to try to change morality. you can't teach people how to be moral. but the constitution addresses this by saying, literally, it says no theocracy. it doesn't talk about church and today. the most important thing is the first amendment. congress shall write no laws.
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which means congress should never prohibit the expression of your christian faith in a public place. >> the last part you said, congress shall never prohibit the expression -- no laws which should never prohibit the expression of your christian faith in a public space. do you think christianity is under attack in the united states? >> to some degree. >> how is that? >> well, there's certain pressures put on christians and made fun of. you know, just subtly, i don't think in a legislative sense. but the point i was trying to make is you can't legislate morality and that's what some people think we do. we take our morality and we'll make you legislate and make you better people. i think that's impossible. but what has to have a moral fiber is the law. and the people who represent us should have moral character. that's how i think our faith should influence them. but the use of force to make
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people live better, i apply that in economics. i apply that to personal things and i apply it to foreign policy. it would be nice if we could remake afghanistan and, maybe, improve it but it doesn't work. the blow-back is so painful that it's much better for us to set a good example with men who have character and men who believe in principles and other people may want to emulate us. >> congressman ron paul, thank you for your time. i know you have u had a busy day. >> thank you. >> interesting, congressman paul saying he senses a difference both in where the country is and where some other candidates are. >> and to a degree he's right. if you go back he mentioned george w. bush in 2000. a more humble nation. he also campaigned to be a compassionate conservative. he campaigned to have immigration reform that then gave citizenship and then status to immigrants. who do we want to be? what issues are first and
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foremost? and definitely on the intervention issues? on the use of foreign policy, whether it's because they just disagree with president obama. whether they think we've been in afghanistan too long or whether they think we just can't afford it because of the budget pressures popular with conservatives right now, the republican party is retreating 123450 and you see, john mccain is not in this race. you think of the impact john mccain has had on republican foreign policy. you talk about libya. john mccain thinks we should have gone in unilaterally and we waited too long. with him out of this field, there's a very different sense about foreign policy. >> i also want to go back to the domestic policy overall. what struck me tonight, as far as who won and who lost, was how much more conservative this party is than it was four or eight years ago among the candidates. there was almost nothing the government could do in the eyes of these candidates that was positive. whether it will work with the country or not, i don't know.
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i think that's a big question. no question they're competing against each other to see who can really get pretty far to the right. >> i want to bring in dana and andrew and cornell. one of the moments a lot of people here were talking about is the exchange john king had with herman cain. and newt gingrich made a statement. i want to play that for our viewers. >> you recently said you would not appoint a muslim to your cabinet and thend you backed off and said that you would first want to ow if they're committed to the constitution. you expressed concern that, quote, a lot of muslims are not totally dedicated to this country. our american muslims as a group, less committed to the constitution than say, christians or jews? >> first, the statement was -- would i be comfortable with the muslim in my administration. no that i wouldn't appoint one. that's the exact transcript. and i would not be comfortable because you have peaceful
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muslims and then you have militant muslims. those that are trying to kill us. and so when i said i wouldn't be comfortable, i was thinking about the ones that are trying to kill us. >> now, i just want to go out on a limb here. i'm in favor of saying to people -- if you're not prepared to be loyal to the united states you will not in my administration, period. we did this in dealing with the nazis and we did this in dealing with the communists and it was controversial both times and both times we discovered, there are genuinely bad people that would like to infiltrate our country and we have to have the guts to stand up and say "no." >> andrew, we got a big reaction on twitter to that exchange, particularly to newt gingrich's comment. your thoughts on how that will play for a republican audience and a independent ought yens? >> i think herman cain was trying to dig out of a hole and i don't think he did. i thought newt gingrich was clear in how he responded.
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what struck me about the question is it really was a minor issue that was blown up. and i actually think that what we're missing tonight is any debate among the democrats. we will not have one. we will not have a debate among the democrats between now and the time president obama accepting the nomination of his party and i think that's sad. >> isn't that the way things work? i mean, dana lash, did you think this was a minor moment? >> i do. i don't think -- i think it began as a minor moment and still think it's a minor moment. i like newt gingrich's answer. i thought it was very eloquent. short and simple and to the point and i think cain spent most of his time trying to clarify because the question originally was odd to begin with and i think he spent more time clarifying and gingrich summed it up. >> david, you're shaking your
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head. >> i thought newt when he said that -- we went through this with harry truman. he had hoility tests about the loyalty of the government of the united states and it was regarded as one of the worst blights of his administration. we look back upon that with regret about the excesses of that period. i'm amazed that people are talking about loyalty to us. >> cornell belcher. your thoughts? >> i agree. i think this does play -- he didn't stop digging. he actually dug himself a deeper hole. i'm not comfortable with him. it's a deeper hole. will this be a problem in the republican nomination battle? no. but for the larger audience of independents and moderates watching this, it's a problem for the republicans because none of the republicans answered this in a way that i think make independents and moderate voters comfortable. >> just ahead, our exclusive instant poll. what some of the savvyiest campaign watchers thought who
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won and who did the best. and president obama's former press secretary, robert gibbs, acting as a surrogate for the president's campaign and he'll probably rebutt some of the things said tonight. he's probably not too happy about the things said tonight. we'll be right back. ananananana] the network. a living, breathing intelligence that's helping drive the future of business. in here, inventory can be taught to learn. ♪ machines have a voice. ♪ medical history follows you. it's the at&t network -- a network of possibilities... committed to delivering the most advanced mobile broadband experience to help move business... forward. ♪
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broib is in president obama is in miami tonight. here's some of the exchanges. >> why isn't the president leading? he isn't leading on balancing our budget and he's not leading on jobs. he's failed the american people in job creation and the scale of government and that's why he's not going to be re-elected. >> i think there's no question, terri. this election will be about economics and how will we create
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jobs? how will we turn the economy around? how will we have a pro-growth economy? that's a great story for republicans to tell. president obama can't tell that story. his report card right now has a big failing grade on it. >> the reason we're seeing this second dip is because of nrmg prices and this president has put a stop sign against oil drilling. against any kind of exploration offshore or alaska and that's depressing. >> and obama campaign surrogate, robert gibbs, former white house spokesman, what did you think? obviously your former boss took a lot of hits. >> as expected in a big republican crowd. >> you're the only one wearing a blue tie here by the way. >> that's good. i'll say this. i think if you wanted to hear republicans talk about the policies that were espoused in 2007 and 2008, that got us into the economic mess that we're trying to get ourselves out of tonight, that's the economic platform that was introduced by
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these candidates tonight. if you think we're a tax cut for a millionaire or billionaire way from creating more jobs, that's exactly what these candidates espouse tonight. >> what we heard over and over again was 9.1% unemployment and president obama doesn't really have a plan. >> well, which i would, of course, anderson, absolutely disagree with. we had a massive economic recession as i said, that started and really crested in september of 2008 when we saw massive job losses. but understand this. the middle class was struggling and getting behind as college education was increasing. as food and gas prices were increasing. and their paychecks were not increasing, not just in 2008 but in 2006 and 2005 -- >> but to republicans that just sounds like you're blaming the bush administration. >> we have to understand what got us into this mess and we have to make sure that we don't hire somebody to repeat those same mistakes to get us into that. look, if the bush tax cuts were
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great for economic policy, why did we lose 3.5 million jobs the last six months of the bush administration? >> there was no one on the stage who would say anything that president obama had done right. is there anything you would say that president obama has done wrong on the economy? >> look, i'll say this. i don't know if it's something that we did wrong but i'll say this. is the economic recovery happening fast enough? absolutely not. not for anybody in america and not for the president. but anderson, if what we do, if our ideas for getting us out of this mess are the exact ideas that got us into this mess, look, almost to a person tonight, john got them to say they want to repeal financial reform. we put some rules out for the road that put some responsibility back in our financial system and to a person, everyone wants to repeal that. let's privatize social security. let's slash medicare. you heard that. those aren't ideas that will make this country stronger. those are ideas that will set us
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back and repeat the economic failures that we saw in 2006, 2007 and 2008. >> i want to bring up john -- >> what robert is trying to do and it's the right thing to do politically and i'm not endorsing it. elections go two ways. choice or referendum. if it's a referendum on this president, even if everything robert just said is true, sometimes it's a referendum and you're the president and unemployment is at 9% or 8%, whether it's your fault, that's the referendum on you and you go. if it's a choice, and that's what the president is trying to do. but the democrats say, where is he? why isn't he being more aggressive? he's getting roughed up. >> look, there's going to be plenty of time for a campaign. what the american people want the president to do is exactly what the president was doing today. talking with ceos in the country about what can we do to create more jobs? how do we make sure that next month's jobs' report looks like it did two months ago and not
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like last month? we've created 2 million new jobs in the past 15 months. but, john, i think the american people understand this. it took us a while to get into this mess. this didn't happen in a week or a day. it took us a while to get here and it's going to take a while to get out. >> when you look at our polling, our polling shows that the american public doesn't want to talk about grch w bush getting us into the ditch, as president obama -- >> in fact -- >> they're over that. >> your polling says quite the opposite. your polling says, cnn asked the question, do you blame bush and the republicans more than you blame obama and the democrats? the answer was, you blame bush more. that's not the point. >> but they believe it's president obama's economy. >> that's the point i'm making. this isn't about affixing blame. this is about understanding we're not going to repeat the mistakes that got us here. i'm not suggesting that this election is going to be about blaming what happened in 2007. but, again, when john asked the questions tonight, the solution was -- let's do what we did in
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2007 and 2008. >> the president recently said this is a bump in the road. the economy right now. the problem we're facing right now -- >> he didn't say the economy was a bump in the road. he said obviously in jobs' reports we're going to have good reports and bad reports. >> and mitt romney jumped on that. do you think it was a mistake for the president to say that? >> i think we have to understand and talk about the economy the way the american people live it. that is, they're hurting every day. we've created jobs in the past 15 months but we have family members that are out of work. neighbors that are out of work. that's how people are living in this economy. i'll say this. everybody wishes you could wave a magic wand and you could watch that thing just tick up immediately. but what i think what the president was saying is -- we're going to have bits and starts so some of this and that's the key. we got to keep pushing. >> let me ask you this question. i understand why if the republicans say, let's make this
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a referendum on obama you say, let's make it a referendum on george w. but the question whoms, what about the future? when is the president going to give us a plan to deal with the slowing of the economy? and also, to deal with the deficit? because he's now caught between a lot of people say he has to stimulate in the near term to get the deficit -- how is he going to scare this? what's his plan? >> first of all, david, this is not going to be -- and i'm not setting this up to be an election to blame george bush but i'm suggesting that what a series of decisions that got us into this mess is not the series of decisions we ought to make to get us out of it. >> what decisions is the president making? >> first and foremost we have to continue to do the things that the president did last december in terms of spurring job creation through tax cuts for small businesses. allowing people to invest. i saw a figure today. a lot of companies are buying new equipment because -- >> you think he'll go back and
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put some new legislation on the table? >> i think obviously that's something that's being talked about. we have a payroll tax cut on the side of employees. the question is -- should you do that on the side of employers? you need to structure that so that cnn didn't let anderson go on monday and hire him again on tuesday so they got a tax credit. the question is -- are there things we can continue to do as the president has done, cut small business taxes 17 times, to spur the economy? he laid out, i think, pretty clearly in the state of the union. we have to do a lot of things in the short term and long term. reform education, increase job training and create the jobs of the future. some of the jobs that disappeared we know aren't coming back and we'll have to create new jobs in new industries to put people back to work. >> got to go to commercial break. thanks so much pore being with us. >> thank you. our coverage continues. we'll look at dial testing. how voters responded while watching the debate in realtime. we'll be right back.
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i do not believe in is your sharia law in american courts. i believe in american laws in american courts, period. there have been instances in new jersey, there was an instance in oklahoma, where muslims did try to influence court decisions with sharia law. i'm same approximately saying very emphatically, american laws in american courts. >> got a good response here in the room. herman cain saying he doesn't believe in sharia law. that was his answer to a comment he made about muslims in his cabinet and he said sharia law has influenced court decisions in oklahoma and new jersey. new jersey there was an incident that was appealed and repealed on appeal in 2010.
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voters in oklahoma did ban judges from relying on sharia law when deciding cases but it was a pre-emptive move. not based on a judge doing it or muslims in oklahoma intending to institute sharia law. in new jersey in 2009, a judge refused to give a woman a restraining order because of her husband's muslim belief. that was overturned later. we want do look at dial testing to see in realtime, viewers reactions to tonight. tom foreman joins me from rochester, new hampshire. >> hi, anderson. we've had a fantastic evening with a group of republicans and independents. some with tea party leanings. the first thing ta that produced a big spike as you watch the results. the red is republicans. the yellow is independents, cain when it came to right to work laws. there's been a big fight going on in new hampshire about this.
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look at this, anderson. >> we live in the united states of america and people shouldn't be forced to belong or be a member in any organization and the government has no business telling people what group you have to be a member of or not. >> i think having -- if you believe in the tenth amendment let the states learn from each other. the right to work states are creating a lot more jobs than the heavily unionized states. >> i believe with the speaker. if the federal government continues to do the kinds of things this administration is trying to do, through the backdoor, through the national labor relations board that's killing our free-market system. >> anderson, that was the biggest reaction here, earliest in the debate. there were some other points, as this group watched and recorded on the dial test at southern methodist university running it all. >> more with our panel. dana, i think it was you at the top of the program that talked
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about michele bachmann reintroducing to the american public. and just about everybody i talked to tonight who was watching this in the hall felt she did a very strong -- she did very well by herself in the forcefulness with which she answered some of the questions. and in that introduction to the american people. you agree with that, yes, dana? >> i do. i think that michele bachmann did incredibly well and this was the first time that even people who are grassroots conservatives, people very familiar with her seeing her across the country at different events, this is the first time they've been able to see her in this setting, going up against other people who are also trying to claim that same super conservative mantel. i think she performed very well and i think she answered very well. she really held her own and i think this was a very good debate and she was one of the individuals, i think romney and gingrich were others, that came out on top. >> andy, i want to play for our viewers some of michele bachmann
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responding to a question john king gave her. >> i want to speak as someone who is far more eloquent than i. someone who said -- just dealing with the issue of raising the debt sealing is a failure of leadership. and that person was then senator barack obama. he refused to raise the debt sealing because he said that president bush failed in leadership. clearly, president obama has failed in leadership. under his watch, in 2 1/2 years, we've increased the federal debt 35% just in that amount of time. >> andy, i think now president obama regrets that decision or the white house says he regretted that decision he made as a senator that vote. how do you think michele bachmann did tonight? did you think she did all she needed to do? were you surprised to hear her announcing, using this platform to announce? >> i thought michele bachmann did a very good job tonight. she had kind of low expectations
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going in, except for the few people that knew her well. and i thought she did a good job. on the issue of the debt ceiling, i was one of the people pushing senator obama to actually permit the debt ceiling to go up so i was in favor. i want responsible cutting on the other ends but i thought michele bachmann did a very good job tonight. i thought all of the candidates did a good job tonight. i really want to stress that, you know, there were no ermbarrassments among that group. they did a good job. >> cornell, as a pollster, one of the questions i guess about michele bachmann is how would she appeal to independents? how do you think she did with hersst or with that group tonight? >> i don't think it's that important about independents per se, right now because that's for another time but let's be clear. there's not a candidate on the platform this evening than has a bigger upside than michele bachmann when you talk about winning the republican voters
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a caucusgoers. this is someone who speaks our concern awe thenticily. if you were a voter paying attention and you don't know about the bomb she's throwing in the past and sort of some of her past statements, she came across as very electable this evening for the republican primary and she has the largest upside when you look at the tea part and other groups. >> watching her, i was wondering what sarah palin must be thinking watching michelle bok machine an this stage. >> i think she sort of stepped out of sarah palin's shadow tonight. she was clearly one of the best-prepped candidates. she let people know the depth of her experience on the intelligence committee, for example. she spoke very succinctly and she was positive and, you know, there wasn't a lot of sort of
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smiling and laughter, uplifting kind of statements coming out of this debate. and i think she was sort of the positive candidate coming out of this. i think she did very, very well for hersest. >> often a kneeled tore president has movement candidates and -- but we had the anti-war liberal candidate. nobody thought he would be the nominee and he would be president. her challenge is to she's not a tea party candidate, she's a republican candidate. she's to expand over coalition. as this gets whittled down, primaries are about ideology. as we get down to two or they candidates republicans will ask the question -- who can beat president obama? they need to look at michele bachmann not as a tea party candidate, not as a house member, but is she a president? that's her challenge. >> i agree with that. i want to go back to what dana said. i thought there were three winners. gingrich, remained in the race. but michele bachmann was the
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biggest surprise. she was -- i don't think the country knew her very well. she was pithy. she spoke in a much cleaner sentences. she sprinkled interesting fact into it. and she introduced her biography. the 23 foster children, she said that twice. that was really -- >> and five children. >> and gloria and i were both -- >> 23 foster children? >> she must be good at time management. >> she's a social conservative,like rick santorum was. i think she was more impressive. >> results, the exclusive insider polls. cnn and the national forum got together. who was the winner? we'll be right back. ♪
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51% said that mitt romney was the biggest winner. 21% said michele bachmann and 12% said tim pawlenty. 35% said mitt romney and let's bring in the panel for their final thoughts on who won. andy, we'll start with you. i know you said everybody did well. who do you think really stood out? >> i think mitt romney did what he had to do. i thought michele bachmann exceeded expectations and introduced to america and did a good job. i thought tim pawlenty was solid and newt gingrich was better than i've seen him in the past. >> dana lash, if there was one winner, who was it? >> one winner? difficult to say. romney, gingrich and bachmann held it up. bachmann did incredibly well. between her and gingrich. i that you pawlenty was the loser. he flubbed with romney obama
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care. >> do you think a strong michele bachmann hurts sarah palin's chances of whether or not -- of actually entering the race if she did enter the race? >> i do. i think that palin may be more hesitant to enter or maybe she's going to just play kingmaker. it's difficult to see what she's going to do. >> cornell belcher, winners? >> michele bachmann. guys. she gained the most out of this debate and when the smoke clears she's going to be one of the last candidates standing, i think. >> john king? >> i agree. michele bachmann gained the most from the debate if you had to pick one winner i would say mitt romney. he's the frontrunner. he's way ahead here in new hampshire. i think he expected to get a little more roughed up. the other candidates thought it was sboeduction night so they were more timid. >> did tim pawlenty and many said he should have been more aggressive.
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do you think he was? >> it's tough to score. sunday he escalates by saying obamany care and then on monday with the others watching and he said "courage." he wouldn't look mitt romney in the eye and say it on stage. >> i don't know why you would start an attack and not follow through with it and i think that was a little -- >> who do you think won? >> i think mitt romney had a big target on his back and he escaped unscathed and the loser was tim pawlenty. >> i agree with gloria. romney the winner and pawlenty, a missed opportunity. here's the interesting question for me. republican candidates how do they play overall with the country? i think they played very, very well with their base. they helped themselves to their base. they were extremely conservative. how well they did with the country as a whole, i think, is another question. i don't know the answer to that. very conservative. >> up next, tonight's debate in its entirety so you can see for. appreciate you joining us. we'll be back in new york tomorrow for "360."
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